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Authors: Ho Jia Lin Eliza
Keywords: pole dancing, ludic, gender, performativity, affect, embodied.
Issue Date: 2016
Citation: Ho Jia Lin Eliza (2016). A LUDIC GEOGRAPHY OF POLE DANCING IN SINGAPORE. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Pole dancing is a ludic spatial practice, not just because pole dancing occurs within a space that escapes mundane routinisation – but also because the ludic performances that pole dancing bodies engender transcends spatial and corporeal boundaries. The difficulty in neatly categorising pole dancing as a sport or dance reflects its liminality, thereby provoking an inquiry to its spatial and performative constructions. This thesis situates pole dancing between sports and dance geographies, and takes a ludic approach to elucidate the liminoid. I aim to connect corporeal gendered performances with the non-corporeal affective experiences to provide a more holistic understanding of pole dancing as an embodied ludic experience. Therefore, I utilise the concepts of performativity and affect as theoretical tools for exploring the discursive constructions, spatialities, and performativities of pole dancing. These include, but are not restricted to, their rational, cognitive, and representational aspects. By localising the study of pole dancing in Singapore – where pole dancing did not originate from strip clubs and is recognised as a sport and/or dance – I demonstrate how this research sheds light on the ludic embodiment of pole dancing wrought into spatial, performative and affectual negotiations in relation to the everyday. The relevance of this research to geography lies in its potential to bring feminist geography and cultural geography closer through the ludic gendered performances of pole dancers. It also contributes to the major strand of feminist geography by demonstrating the dynamic interplay between space, place, and gender, and the potential of the ludic to unsettle the taken-for-granted assumptions of gender identities as ‘natural’.
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses (Restricted)

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